Complementarian Marriage and the Lies They Tell Themselves Part Five

Complementarian Marriage and the Lies They Tell Themselves Part Five May 11, 2020

Continuing on with this male half of a Quiverfull cultural enforcer couple and his self justifications for how he changed his marriage. Last week is here. This week he starts off by sharing his “values” after last week sharing his list of what did not work. Again all typos and misspells go with the original author.

  • I value love and being a loving person
  • I value serving others
  • I value being known as a joyful and happy person
  • I value treating others the way I want to be treated
  • I value kindness, consideration, and caring for others
  • I value Christ Jesus and want to make him not just Savoir, but Lord of my life  I value God’s Word and doing things God’s ways
  • I value laying my life down for others, especially my own family
  • I value common human decency and treating others as people not objects that will help me get my way in life

I guess putting periods at the ends of sentences aren’t so valued by this guy. Plus it’s odd that he savoirs Jesus, not lists him as his savior. I know this is a typo, but it niggles at me because it changes the entire meaning of the thing, from declaring him Lord of all, to saying that he is to know, or find out about Jesus. This list, while a good one, looks nothing at all like what we’ve seen in the behavior of this guy. He’s nasty, he’s hateful, he’s verbose and hectoring towards others online.

“Do you value SELF and SELFISHNESS that comes from staying in your box? When I am in my box I am actively resisting what the humanity of others calls me to do for them.”

You know this is why whenever I talk of marriage advice I always start with be kind to one another. It always blows my mind in stories of others marriages when it’s all about them, and what you can get from the other partner. People are not ladders to climb, dartboards for our own frustrations, or an object for use.

“When I am in my box I am actively resisting what the humanity of others calls me to do for them.

I am so busy focused on self, or the results I want to see to make my life better that I somehow miss that I am dealing with a real person with real dreams of their own for a happy and fulfilling life. This person is a child of God who needs me to shine the love of Christ upon her. So long as my focus is myself I cannot get out of the box and go minister to my seeming enemy for fear that she will once again disappoint me, or hurt me.”

Enemy? That word has no place ever in discussing your spouse, thinking about them in any way! I find it sad and telling that the husband must remind himself that his wive is a person that he needs to be kind to.

“We cannot get out of our box until we take the focus off of our self and put it onto unconditionally loving and serving our spouse.

“But I can’t do that until he/she changes! I am not going back into that situation again as that will only put us both back into our boxes in hopeless despair because my spouse has not changed the way I think they need to change! He/she must change first!”

Husband finally hits on a truth here. You love your spouse, you treat them like you love them. The way you treat them needs to be completely uncoupled from any expectations or childish notions that they must do this or that, or change in any way.

I think we frequently buy or borrow trouble in marriage when we go into a marriage thinking you will change this other person. One gets the impression in this marriage that both partners were so eager to check the box for “Married” that they ignored, glossed over, or decided it was unimportant to have a good relationship first, thinking (wrongly) that they’d get married and change that person later. Remember that story in this wife’s book where she spoke of being upset that the husband ate Ritz crackers and cheese at their wedding reception? She should have realized well before that point that he ate things she disapproved of and accepted it, or just not married him if it was that important to her.

We’re all going to slip, fall, and live as imperfect humans, because we just are. The last thing you need is being shackled to a critical score keeper that uses your imperfections to torment you with later.

“You see how easy it is to get back into your comfortable little box of self-focus? I am just pointing out the facts that you can never move from where you are now in your marriage until you stop pointing the finger at your spouse and start pointing it at your own areas where you are betraying your own values. If you have no values then this discussion is over as I have nothing to motivate you with. But if you are a Christian or both of you are Christians, then you deserve to be taken to the woodshed by the Lord, and perhaps that is exactly where he has you. Your unwillingness to stop pointing the finger and accepting the part of the blame that belongs to each one of you individually, and collectively, has you in a miserable place of God’s discipline in your life as He demands you live out your values and walk in newness of life.”

So now husband drags out God the Punisher God to try and motivate you to be a decent human being to your partner. Jesus wept. This is not how best to motivate others to treat their spouses well.

“No excuses, no buy backs, no blaming the other spouse, no blaming my personality or my circumstances… I must own my responses. When I am moody, or have a bad attitude or a snap or complain or say unkind words, or ANYTHING that does not live up to MY VALUES of living like Jesus, that is on me. I can no longer blame my spouse for anything she/he does because I am responsible for my own actions and reactions. Period.”

This is just decent human behavior 101, pal, not so big secret. Treat others like you want to be treated.

“What sets the human being apart from animals is our ability to choose right over wrong. We can be slapped every day for a month and turn the other cheek with a smile. We can wake up with a brain tumor and neck pain raging, like Wife does many days, and still smile at my husband and choose joy over my painful, illness-filled life. I can recognize the stress of my job and responsibilities and not blame Wife for them. I can have her hurt me with unkind words and choose to say nothing until later in a quiet moment give a kind response, and a request to please don’t say those disrespectful things.”

I beg to differ on one thing here. I have seen animals show more kindness, love, and acceptance to each other and humans than I’ve seen most Evangelical Christians do. Saying that animals cannot chose right over wrong is simply not true. They are able to do with without expectations of what they will get in return, unlike people.

And that freaking brain tumor that she refuses to have follow up testing on, and neck pain that likely needs surgery keep being trotted out as an excuse. I know what it’s like to be chronically ill, to have days when you must do your day differently or not at all. But I need to point out that I routinely consult my doctor over my conditions, I don’t moan, complain and cover myself in unproven possibly harmful supplements and faux medicine.

Those unkind words comments alone tell me that neither of these people have the first clue on how to disagree in safe healthy ways.  Learning to navigate not being in complete agreement over everything is a skill that is so needed in marriage. Fair fighting.  I wrote about that same thing the other day on my personal blog. There are good ways to manage disagreement, not one word in his writings is any of that.

“From the end of our seventh year of marriage to our 18th year of marriage we lived together like two islands, both vey independent, but coming together over the kids, kids sports and sexual intimacy. We had what most couples would think is a decent Christian marriage where we had learned what each other’s hot buttons were and tried to avoid setting of the missiles that were always aimed to fire.

A marriage where you constantly have to tiptoe around the other partner to avoid setting them off is not a marriage, it is an abusive, controlling, powder keg relationship that no one who values their mental health should stay in. I am not saying rush out and divorce, but the potential for abuse as this lags on just jumps higher every day. This is one of the times to call in the big guns of marriage counseling. If your spouse will not go, then you go alone. It’s even more important to do this if you have children. No child should be raised in such a toxic tense environment. No one benefits.

And I’m out. This article just keeps getting worse every week. I’ll be on our YouTube channel talking about dangers of these types of marriage later today.

Part 1 ~ Part 2 ~ Part 3 ~ Part 4

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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.
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